Plenty of Rum to Go Around–Happy National Rum Day!


When I posted the recipe for last month’s Chocolate Cherry Frozen Cocktail I mentioned that I hadn’t tried Cruzan’s vanilla or black cherry rums and, well, the good folks at Cruzan couldn’t let that slide and generously sent me a bottle of the vanilla rum to try out.

Oh, man, am I glad they did!

And it just happened to be in time for National Rum Day, August 16!

Since beginning this blog I’ve been making a concentrated effort to taste more spirits neat–after all, if I’m going to use them as building blocks for the cocktails I design, I need to really understand the properties of each alone before combining them with others. This is not always a pleasant endeavor, as some spirits can have a very hard edge and can be bracing on their own.

That was not the case with the Cruzan Vanilla.

Ho-lee cats, folks, that’s some good rum!

I believe I described it as nirvana in a bottle at dinner with friends the next night (and then invited them all over to give it a try, themselves). No one disagreed, I might add.

First of all, it’s sweet. No big surprise, here, as rum is distilled from sugar cane, but the vanilla addition seems to add to the usual rum-sweet that you’d expect.

Second, it’s smooth. Hard edges? More like puffy clouds of silk–and we’re not talking the slubby dupioni, either!

Third, it mixes well. Almost too well, in fact.

Rum and Coke is an easy mixed drink to order and hard to get wrong, but many times (due to the plethora of hard-edged call-brands at the average ladies’ night) you can tell just how much the bartender liked you by how much bite the drink had. Every now and then I like to enjoy a throw-back drink like the R&C (not really a Cuba Libre since I don’t add the lime), and I thought a Vanilla Rum & Coke might be a nice place to start.

If you like Vanilla Coke, you will adore Cruzan Vanilla Rum and Coke. The combination of the two is sweet, sweet goodness, and this is where the danger comes in: you could go through quite a few of these in an evening and not realize how much you’ve imbibed until you go to stand up and miss the floor.

So, as always, drink responsibly.

After the R&C success, I decided to go with another basic rum drink: the Dark & Stormy. I’m renaming the combination of Ginger Beer and Cruzan Vanilla the White Storm–a light-colored drink that is both sweet and tangy, the vanilla and the ginger balancing each other out so nicely, it’s refreshing and perfect for a hot summer night hanging out with friends.

White Storm

2-2 .5oz Cruzan Vanilla Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
6 oz Ginger Beer (or as needed)

Fill a tall glass 3/4 full with ice and pour each ingredient over the ice, topping it off with the ginger beer (measurement was based on my glass, your glass may very). Stir leisurely until cool. Sip and enjoy.

Feel free to skip the lime juice if you’d prefer an even sweeter experience–the tart from the lime is interesting, true, but I could really take it or leave it.

Todd also suggested Cruzan Vanilla would be amazing in a Hurricane, something we’ll keep in mind for Mardi Gras, and I’m salivating over the thought of it in my Christmas-time Rum Balls this holiday.



FTC Disclaimer: I was provided a sample of the Cruzan Vanilla Rum for purposes of review. All opinions are entirely my own.

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